Surface Hunting

You always washed artifacts
          at the kitchen sink, your back
                       to the room, to me, to the mud

you'd tracked in from whatever
          neighbor's field had just been plowed.
                       Spearpoints, birdpoints, awls and leaf-

shaped blades surfaced from the turned earth
          as though from beneath some thicker
                       water you tried to see into.

You never tired, you told me, of the tangible
          past you could admire, turn over
                       and over in your hand—the first

to touch it since the dead one that had
          worked the stone. You lined bookshelves
                       and end tables with them; obsidian,

quartz, flint, they measured the hours you'd spent
          with your head down, searching for others,
                       and also the prized hours of my own

solitude—collected, prized,
          saved alongside those artifacts
                       that had been for so long lost.